Dewsbury to get “community hub” to support vulnerable and elderly

Councillors in Dewsbury are to set up a community hub to support vulnerable groups such as the elderly through the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 11:01 am

Gulfam Asif and Masood Ahmed, who both represent Labour in Dewsbury South, are looking to pump part of their ward budget into the initiative, dubbed the COVID-19 Response Group.

But they are also seeking support from local businesses as well as volunteers from the community.

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Dewsbury South councillors Masood Ahmed (left) and Gulfam Asif (right) pictured with ward colleague Nosheen Dad (centre) who have set up a COVID-19 Response Group in the town.

They are appealing to anyone seeking help and reassurance to contact them and have pledged to make essential items available to those in need or who cannot leave their homes.

“We want to make sure local vulnerable people receive as much help and support as possible in the current very difficult circumstances,” said Clr Asif.

“A lot of elderly people are scared to death to step out of their homes right now.

“For some of them the basic necessities are not there because they don’t have family support.

“Other people are under the radar. We need to know who these people are.”

Along with his friend and party colleague Clr Ahmed they are working to set up a hub that could act both as a distribution centre for what people need as well as a liaison point for the Dewsbury South community.

They estimated that there are more than 20,000 people in their ward, which they represent alongside Clr Nosheen Dad.

“We need a central focal point,” said Clr Ahmed. “It will be a base where items can be distributed from as well as where people can collect from.

“That will allow us to collect groceries, canned food, sanitary items, hand sanitisers and gloves.

“We will put together packs that we can then hand out to vulnerable groups such as the over-70s, the over 60s with a medical condition, single parents, anyone registered disabled, people with no income, and the homeless.

“All our volunteers and distribution personnel are fully vetted and DBS checked.”

He added: “We don’t have an answer for everything but for the ones that are out there and struggling, we can do something.

“We haven’t agreed on the amount we can allocate from our ward budget yet but it could be several thousand pounds.

“In the meantime we need the support of the business community. There is a particular need to access basic fresh and tinned food supplies, so if you are a local business, we’re particularly keen to hear from you.”